An intrauterine device (IUD) is a T-shaped contraceptive that is inserted into the uterus by an OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist). You may be familiar with Mirena, Kyleena, or Skyla, which are hormonal IUDs, meaning they release progesterone to help prevent pregnancy for up to five years. A hormone-free IUD brand is Paragard, which is wrapped in copper wire to cause an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs, and can prevent pregnancy for about 10 years.
An OB/GYN doctor or a nurse has to perform the IUD insertion, you cannot do it yourself. There are a few things you may experience after an IUD insertion, so let’s talk about what you can expect after an IUD is inserted, and where you can go in the western Chicago suburbs for birth control and pregnancy planning by an experienced gynecologist.
What Can Happen After an IUD Insertion?
The following factors may be involved in having an IUD as your method of birth control:
Cramps and Body Aches
After having an IUD inserted, patients are advised to go home and relax. Common symptoms experienced after an IUD insertion include abdominal cramps and body aches, usually in the lower back.
The doctor will advise you on how to control any physical discomfort afterward. Usually, heating pads and over-the-counter pain medication are enough to ease the symptoms. Severe pain is not normal, however, and you should call your OB/GYN if you are experiencing severe symptoms.
If you have severe pain, fever, chills, a foul-smelling discharge, or a positive pregnancy test, call your gynecologist’s office right away. These are abnormal reactions after an IUD insertion.
Menstrual Changes or Spotting
IUDs can change the quality and consistency of your monthly flow. You may experience irregular bleeding and spotting in the first three months after an IUD insertion.
With hormonal IUDs, your periods may become lighter, and about 40% of women with this type of contraceptive stop getting their period altogether while they have the IUD in their body. Copper IUDs, on the other hand, tend to make periods heavier.
You May Notice a String
To make the removal of the IUD easier for your OB/GYN, there is a short string in your vagina that you may feel only if you put your fingers in there. Be careful not to pull on the string, as you may dislodge the IUD. If your IUD becomes dislodged, you are not protected from pregnancy.
Protection Against Pregnancy but Not Sexually Transmitted Disease
Be sure to understand the limitations of an IUD. It protects against pregnancy but not against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This means you would still need to use a condom to protect yourself from an STD.
The IUD Will Need to Be Replaced Periodically by Your OB/GYN
Hormone IUDs usually last between three and seven years, depending on the type of hormone IUD used; copper IUDs can last between 10 and 12 years. Write down the date when you had the IUD inserted, or set a reminder for yourself.
There will be a follow-up checkup in a month or so after the IUD insertion so the doctor can check it. Ask your OB/GYN for specific instructions on when to come in to have the IUD replaced.
Gynecologist in DeKalb County and Kendall County, IL
An IUD insertion is an option in gynecological services and birth control. If you are interested in having an IUD or any other type of contraception, consult an experienced gynecologist to help you determine the right contraception for you.
The board-certified obstetricians and gynecologists at Aishling Obstetrics & Gynecology are here to provide personalized and comprehensive gynecological services that help protect your reproductive health and overall health.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified OB/GYNs at our gynecology clinic in DeKalb County and Kendall County, call our location nearest you or fill out our convenient online request form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!